New West Symphony & Chorus (NWSC) launched in 2010, and is currently a vibrant music community of approximately 90 volunteer choir and orchestra members.  Under the musical direction of Henric Ideström, this group of dedicated musicians performs an average of 12 concerts per season within Calgary and area, presenting a wide variety of choral and orchestral music that ranges from sacred to classical to pop genres.

NWSC is known for its energy and professionalism, whether they are performing at a local church, a community fund-raiser or to a large audience at the Jack Singer Concert Hall.

Calgary choral concerts

Henric Ideström, Music Director

Henric is known for his ability to create art as he conducts.  He challenges his musicians – chorus and orchestra members alike – to not just sing words or play notes, but to fully connect with each song’s lyrics and notes so that the audience is able to hear, see and feel the music.

Henric joined New West Symphony & Chorus as our Music Director in 2017.  Prior to moving to Calgary, Henric lived in the New York, where he founded SymphoNYChorus.  In fact, Henric continues to be the Director of SymphoNYChorus in addition to his position with NWSC, thanks to the science of flight, an incredible level of commitment to both organizations, and an astounding amount of energy.

After receiving his Masters in Conducting from Azusa Pacific University in California, Henric was hired as the Music Director at Centre Street Church.  Prior to moving to New York, Henric was the Chair of the Arts at Rocky Mountain College in Calgary for 8 years, where he taught and mentored many music students – some of which are current members of New West Symphony & Chorus!

Henric has led a number of group music tours in Europe, his most recent being a tour to the United Kingdom with members from both New West Symphony & Chorus and SymphoNYChorus.

Photo by Focus403

Natalie Prando, Associate Music Director

Brazilian-Canadian conductor, cellist, singer and music educator, Natalie Minczuk Prando is a passionate musician. She joined NWSC in the fall of 2023.  Here is what Natalie has to say about joining this team: “New West was the very first ensemble I had the opportunity to be part of when I first moved to Canada, and it brings me back to good memories from my journey as an immigrant. The thing that I love most about New West is that I have the opportunity to perform all kinds of great music with such a talented group of people. The strong sense of community and the faith-based foundation the group is built on is a special thing to be part of.”

Natalie has been an active conductor in the Alberta choral scene, serving as assistant conductor for both Vocal Alchemy choir, in Edmonton, and the professional choir Luminous Voices, in the 2022/2023 season. She holds a Masters degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Alberta, where she studied under the tutelage of maestro Tim Shantz. Besides conducting, she has recently sung at Yale’s Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and Pro Coro Canada and currently sings with Luminous Voices.

Outside New West, Natalie is a musicianship instructor and voice coach for Cantiga and Cantilena Choirs from Cantaré Children’s Choir Society, and is the founder and music director of the First Evangelical Free Church Choir.